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Marissa Bailey G'06

Before she began her noteworthy career as weekday morning anchor at WBBM/CBS Chicago, Marissa Bailey G’06 was a broadcast journalism major at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

It was in a Newhouse classroom that she was first introduced to Ellen Crooke, a news director at WGRZ-TV in Buffalo. After their initial meeting, the two kept in touch as Bailey completed her degree, and it was Crooke who gave Bailey her first job as an on-air reporter and desk anchor. Bailey credits this initial meeting for kick-starting her successful career in broadcast journalism. “If it wasn’t for that simple invitation and all the thorough, tough, and detailed classes and professors at SU,” she says, “I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Loyalty to her home city brought Bailey back to Chicago, where she continued her career at WBBM/CBS station. She also continued her commitment to SU’s alumni network. Bailey remains dedicated to her fellow SU alums in the Chicago area and enjoys the connection she shares with them, a connection she describes as a uniting factor that brings together alumni with diverse experiences. “Chicago is a transient city in many ways, so to connect with people who you have something special in common with is a great way to build connections and community,” she says.

She also uses her career in broadcasting to advertise the benefits of an SU education. “There are two amazing journalism schools in the Midwest...but let’s be honest: Syracuse University’s Newhouse School is the best of the best,” says Bailey, who enjoys reminiscing about her time at SU, and inspiring young SU hopefuls to pursue their dreams of a Newhouse education.

Bailey looks back on that time with great fondness and enjoys sharing lessons she learned as a student. “My time at SU not only prepared me for my career, but the tough industry of news,” she says. “I learned the valuable lesson of putting your head down and working hard with focus to get to the next level. I’ve taken that lesson with me through every step of my career.” 

She continues to stay involved with the University, both within her community and philanthropically, something that she cites as an important part of her life. She put her commitment into action by taking part in last spring's joint Newhouse-Chicago Regional Council panel discussion of women's impact on media and journalism. And as a new member of the Council, Bailey is excited to make even more connections with the area's 'Orange family.'

“Syracuse is so much more than a school,” she says, speaking of her desire to reach out to fellow alumni and inspire future SU students. “It’s a mindset, it’s a passion, it’s electric. Our alums know that, and it's fun to sit down with them and just ‘get it,’ that feeling of SU and all it has to offer.” She hopes to share this special feeling—just one of the many benefits she says came from her time at SU—with many more current and future alumni as she continues on in her career.